CONTROLLED FRENZIED BERSERKER

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Hello everybody

I'm not sure if this is the right place to post this, but I can't find any recent relevant thread.

To begin with, I don't like the idea of over - benting the rules. I mean, taking a flying familiar and having a lot of weight and then casting benign transposition to fall on the enemy for weight damage... well, I don't feel like it, except if you are in  a munchkin - like game.

So in my effort to control the Frenzied Berserker, without having to bent the rules (like with Iron Heart Surge or Righteous Wrath) here follows my build:

Race: 1/2 Orc (I choose 1/2 orc for two reasons. First, the flavor. Second, the feat Channeled Rage (RacDes))

1st lvl  Barbarian 1 ---- Totem:Lion (CoCh) Pounce instead of fast movement, Rage 1/day
                                     Flaw: Shaky (-2 ranged attack)
                                     Flaw: Murky Eyed (roll twice vs concealed foes, if one is a fail, you fail to hit) --- both flaws from Unearthed Arcana
                                     Feats: Power Attack, Extra Rage, Channeled Rage (the extra feats due to flaws)

2nd lvl Fighter 1 ------  Feat: Cleave (bonus)

3rd lvl Fighter 2 ------   Feats: Intimidating Rage, Improved Bull Rush (bonus)

4th lvl Fighter 3 ------   (+1 CON)
Notes: The fighter levels are obviously for the bonus feats. The feats Channeled Rage and Extra Rage are for later control of the Frenzy. The 3rd lvl in fighter seems useless, but it is required for the 4th llv fighter which gives a bonus feat. The +1 CON could be assigned to STR instead, but since the character is going to lose a lot of AC to hit more effectively, he is going to need that extra Hps.

5th lvl Fighter 4 ------- Feat: Leap Attack (bonus)
Note: By this lvl the character should have no problem maxing Jump and Intimidate skills. They are the only prereq. skills. The few remaining skill points may be assigned as seen fit (perhaps some Jump - boosting skill tricks from CoSc).

6th lvl Barbarian 2 ------- 1/2 Orc alternate barbarian (RacDes) Reckless Charge
                                        Feat: Shock Trooper
Note: I choose 1/2 orc alternate feature (Reckless Charge) to get +4 when charging without having to pay a feat for it (Furious Charge). I personally dislike Headlong Rush because you provoke AoO from EVERYONE in your path.

7th lvl Outcast Champion 1 ----- Aura of Confidence (add class lvls of Out.Ch. as bonus to Will saves, even to allies up to 30', always active!)

8th lvl Outcast Champion 2 -----  Avenging Strike (deal extra (d6 X class lvls) dmg to a foe that hurt an ally, CHA modifier times/day)

9th lvl Outcast Champion 3 -----  Desperate Fury (get +2 STR, CON, DEX when fatigued or exhausted, ends if frightened, panicked or cowering)
                                                   Feat: Destructive Rage (useless, just prereq. for Frenzied Berserker)
Notes: The Outcast Champion is an excellent PrC. You get your class lvls as bonus to Will saves (and often so do your allies). You punish those who dare hurt your party. You boost up just when you need it the most, possibly when rage and frenzy ends. You only need 3 lvls in it though, since the abilities confered at the 2 remaining levels are just not worth it. And of course, you need the bonus to Will to count, so you need at least a +3.

10th lvl Frenzied Berserker 1 ------- NOW we're talking! All the way Frenzied from this point on!

Now, with a decent WIS score (13 to 15) you get a +1 or +2 modifier.
Being barbaric - 10th lvl you have a base Will save +2.
Supposing you are already in Rage, when you decide to Frenzy you have another +2.
Your STR (enraged + frenzied), supposing an initial score of 18, is 28 which gives a +9 modifier. You can add this as an immediate action by spending 1 daily use of Rage (hence the Extra Rage feat) to one Will save.
Your Outcast Champion class lvl gives a +3 modifier.

So, the modifier to Will save to end the Frenzy voluntarily (DC20) is:
+2 (base) + 1 (or 2) (WIS) + 9 (STR) + 2 (rage) + 3 (Aura of Confidence) = +17 or +18    In other words, you fail only on a 1 or 2.

I suppose it won't be so difficult to make it, will be? Even with a mediocre WIS (10 or 11) you get a +16.

Final notes: I suppose a riskier player could omit the Shock Trooper routine, so that leaves two open positions for feats (since Improved Bull Rush by itself is not so necessary). Of course, this is a non - magic item build (valorous weapon and magical protection would make a difference here), without too many "exotic" additions (dragonborn, other templates, warforged etc) and without class deviations (levels in casting classes).  With 12 + CON x lvl + 2d12 + 7d10 Hps and Diehard from Fr. Berserker 1 he has a good chance to remain conscious long enough to drop at least the bulkiest foes. For those who would protest about investing 2 feats to control the frenzy (Extra Rage, Channeled Rage) the reply is simple. Who doesn't need an extra rage and what fighter - type character has ever found useless a major boost to Will saves?  Finally, I do not forget to pinpoint a significant drawback, regarding xp penalty from 7th lvl and on.
But then again, nobody's perfect. Especially an outcast pissed off 1/2 orc...Yell
i like the idea. and you dont get a xp penalty, cause prestige classes are not calculated in for determine xp penalty
Just a note to remember is if you don't want to deal with the hassel of raging, just go out and burn them all. The power attack is what FB is for. Also take a look at the headlong charge feat. I can't remember the book though.
frost.fire, what you mean is headlong rush from races of faerun. and op stated, that he dont want to use it.
frost.fire, what you mean is headlong rush from races of faerun. and op stated, that he dont want to use it.
another point: you cannot meet the diplomacy preq for outcast. you dont have it as class skill
Thank you all  for the feedback!

Dear Seeron

You wrote "another point: you cannot meet the diplomacy preq for outcast. you dont have it as class skill "

But I can meet the Intimidate prereq. The PrC reqs state "Diplomacy 8 ranks or Intimidate 8 ranks" (RacDes, p.126). And I think I can easily meet Intimidate prereq. with a barbarian/ fighter.

Do you know where it says that PrCs dont count for xp penalty? That would be of much interest to me!



Do you know where it says that PrCs dont count for xp penalty? That would be of much interest to me!


It should be in the DMG although I believe it was missing in at least the first print runs.

It also makes little sense that they would count towards the multiclassing XP penalty when you can't take them from first level.  I mean an Elf Rogue/Assassin would get hit by it as there would be a big difference in level when it starts taking levels of Assassin despite using the most "natural" entry into the class.  Sure there would be a few cases where a race's favored class would carry a character into a PrC but there are so many cases where it would not it is crazy.

I'll also mention that a number of people on the boards will look at you funny if you even suggest the idea that you follow the RAW regarding the XP penalty for multiclassing.  I think they often say "no body ever uses the XP penalty," or something to that effect.  While I can see where they may be coming from as 3.5 base classes expanded well beyond what you find in the PHB while favored classes remained unchanged I still believe in using them although I also support expanding the list of favored class for many races.
Thanks for the answer Steven O

I think there is a solid reason for multiclass xp penalty. It represents the difficulty in advancing one's skills significantly when having so many. I support that argument. In fact this is a much better version of the level restrictions back in AD&D (which was absolutely irrational). It reflects on reality, without copying it.

Anyway, I suppose there could be a slight bent in the rules regarding PrCs. At least, when one takes one and goes all the way with it.
The standard fix to Frenzied Berserker is to go off by yourself in the woods and burn your Frenzies before the adventuring day begins. Take Extra Rage as a feat, and you're good to go. As noted, the best thing about the FB is the Supreme Power Attack, not the Frenzies.

==Aelryinth
Fighter vs Warblade analysis http://community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/75882/19573526/Analyzing_the_Fighter_vs_The_Warblade The Lockdown F/20 iconic build http://community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/75882/19856162/A_little_Lock_build_for_you
Thanks for the answer Steven O

I think there is a solid reason for multiclass xp penalty. It represents the difficulty in advancing one's skills significantly when having so many. I support that argument. In fact this is a much better version of the level restrictions back in AD&D (which was absolutely irrational). It reflects on reality, without copying it.

Anyway, I suppose there could be a slight bent in the rules regarding PrCs. At least, when one takes one and goes all the way with it.


When it comes to PrCs it is like all of them are a "favored class" for a character.  Unlike the base classes you already need to pay something to get into them.

I know that favored classes were created to push certain species in the direction the previous editions normally would push them.  While they may have worked when there were just a dozen classes so many more books have followed that the lists really could be expanded by a class or maybe even two; the problem will be deciding what those classes should be.  Some of my thoughts include Beguiler for the Gnome and Duskblade for the Elf. 
Dear Aelryinth

I know that the main goodies of the FrBr are the Ultra-Dupa- PA and the deathless frenzy (in my opinion). But would you pass on a +6 STR and an extra att at full Att bonus? I know I wouldn't! I think most (if not everyone) posts about FrBr focus on optimization (or boosting). Mine's goal is to propose a way to make a FrBr playable among a non-evil, non-reckless party.

Dear StevenO

I see your point. Your idea is very interesting. Too bad WotC (or HASBRO, or what?) are busy developing the next yu-gi-Ouch edition of non-epic, unflavored tabletop monopy of a game Money Mouth. It seems it falls on our poor DMing backs to convert, houserule and expandCool.
Feat: Destructive Rage (useless, just prereq. for Frenzied Berserker)


You know, I've never actually had that be useless either time I played a Frenzied Berserker. Both times were Goliaths with Mountain Rage and I've very quickly found that the +8 on Str checks to break or burst items is a very useful ability both in and out of combat. Walls and other impediments and terrain features just melt in ways that damage just won't do (easily). (page 60 DMG)

Also, since the rules for breaking objects in combat aren't set forth you may be able to do things like Strength Check through walls to complete a charge, bury your feet into the floor to ignore slippery surfaces, or bend your opponent's weapons into pretzels (and back again once you're out of combat).

Now, I'm not saying that it's going to be so awesome that you should take it as something other than a prerequisite, especially in a feat starved build. What I am saying is that if you have it then you might as well make use of it. Everything you're already going for as a barbarian only helps those Strength Checks get better after all.

Lastly, rather than grab the last fighter feat from level 4 fighter, if you had a willingness to give up 1 BAB (maybe not is a Power Attack centric build) 2 levels of Fighter feat Rogue or 1 level of Fighter feat Wizard could do the job just as well. Those would grab you either more skill points, an extra feat, trapfinding, and evasion (or your choice of alternate class abilities); or first level spellcasting (maybe, you ARE an orc after all), and a familiar (or the alternate class ability of your choice).
Oh sorry, i just looked at an online version of the class, cause i was afb, and they forgot to mention the or^^
Vortsukoto, interesting argument about Destructive Rage. I basically agree.

For the record about multiclassing XP penalty and PrCs here's an excerpt from (official) MAINFAQ 30/06/2008, p.30:

Q:"In the previous version of the D&D game, having levels in a
prestige class never caused you to pay the experience
penalty for being a multiclass character without uneven
class levels. (The prestige class levels didn’t count when
checking to see if you had a penalty.) The section on
prestige classes in the new DMG no longer mentions that
you don’t suffer an experience penalty for having levels in a
prestige class. Is this a change or an error?
A:It’s an error. Having levels in a prestige class won’t give
you an experience penalty."

So no xp penalty goes official! Thanks again for the remark guys!
In addition to the FAQ, the recent reprinting of the DMG says (on page 176): "Taking a prestige class does not incur the experience point penalties normally associated with multiclass."

The kraken stirs. And ten billion sushi dinners cry out for vengeance. - Good Omens

Co-Author of the Dreamfane, Euralden Eye, Fulminating Crab, Gajuisan Crawler, Gruesome LurkerIronglass Rose, Sheengrass Swarm, Spryjack, Usunag, and Warp Drifter, and author of the Magmal Horror from Force of Nature.

My most popular campaign item; for all your adventuring convenience.
Zauber's Mutable Rod: This rod has a number of useful functions that make it easier to live in the wilderness. It is made of polished wood, with five studlike buttons on one end. Each button produces a different effect when pressed. Unless otherwise noted, the rod’s functions have no limit on the number of times they can be employed. When button 1 is pressed, one end of the rod produces a small flame, equivalent to a candle. When button 2 is pressed, the rod unfolds into a two-person tent, complete with bedrolls and warm blankets. When button 3 is pressed, the rod becomes a one-handed hammer, suitable for pounding pitons into a wall. When button 4 is pressed, the rod becomes a sturdy iron spade. When button 5 is pressed, the rod becomes a wooden bucket able to hold 2 gallons of liquid. Once per day, it can be commanded to fill with fresh water. If the rod is seriously damaged or broken in any of its alternate forms (button 2, 3, 4, or 5), it reverts to its basic rod form and cannot be activated for 24 hours. Moderate conjuration; CL 9th; Craft Rod, minor creation; Price 375 gp; Weight 2 lb.
Dear Aelryinth

I know that the main goodies of the FrBr are the Ultra-Dupa- PA and the deathless frenzy (in my opinion). But would you pass on a +6 STR and an extra att at full Att bonus? I know I wouldn't! I think most (if not everyone) posts about FrBr focus on optimization (or boosting). Mine's goal is to propose a way to make a FrBr playable among a non-evil, non-reckless party.

Dear StevenO

I see your point. Your idea is very interesting. Too bad WotC (or HASBRO, or what?) are busy developing the next yu-gi-Ouch edition of non-epic, unflavored tabletop monopy of a game . It seems it falls on our poor DMing backs to convert, houserule and expand.

Yeah, I'd pass without hesitation.

Haste will give you the extra attack back, and the peace of mind knowing that an incoming arrow isn't going to come in, cause you to Frenzy and wipe your whole party in one Supreme Cleaving bout of annihilation is totally worth it.

==Aelryinth  
Fighter vs Warblade analysis http://community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/75882/19573526/Analyzing_the_Fighter_vs_The_Warblade The Lockdown F/20 iconic build http://community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/75882/19856162/A_little_Lock_build_for_you
Either have a party that can hide or escape from each combat before it's quite done, leaving the FB to finish up, OR have a party wherin each party member posesses a solid, relyable takeout for the FB.

Force cage, worst case scenerio doesn't even allow a save. Resliant Sphere may be adequate. 
@ Aelryinth

"Haste will give you the extra attack back, and the peace of mind knowing that an incoming arrow isn't going to come in, cause you to Frenzy and wipe your whole party in one Supreme Cleaving bout of annihilation is totally worth it."

Haste? I didn't mention anything about spellcasting abilities. My built doesn't rely on co-op or magic items. They are pretty optional after all.
As for the arrow, I already explained how you can control your Frenzy. Now, if you are afraid of stepping on the pressure button that releases the d4+1 darts, well, I think you can manage to roll a DC10 +(d4+1) Will save to avoid being frenzied.

But if you insist on magical help, why not taking an item that protects you from random dmg, such as Protection from arrows -enspelled items or something like this.

I'm afraid I must insist my friend. If you go for FrBr, you need to Frenzy. Otherwise, go all the way Outcast Champion, Barbarian or whatever. Of course, if you ask me, a player should first discuss with her party her intention to go FrBr before doing so.

Of course, if you ask me, a player should first discuss with her party her intention to go FrBr before doing so.

Just as long as they don't discuss it in-character, because it might be a hard one to sell: "Hey guys, I'm thinking I'd like to go kill-crazy in battle so that I can't tell friend from foe."

The kraken stirs. And ten billion sushi dinners cry out for vengeance. - Good Omens

Co-Author of the Dreamfane, Euralden Eye, Fulminating Crab, Gajuisan Crawler, Gruesome LurkerIronglass Rose, Sheengrass Swarm, Spryjack, Usunag, and Warp Drifter, and author of the Magmal Horror from Force of Nature.

My most popular campaign item; for all your adventuring convenience.
Zauber's Mutable Rod: This rod has a number of useful functions that make it easier to live in the wilderness. It is made of polished wood, with five studlike buttons on one end. Each button produces a different effect when pressed. Unless otherwise noted, the rod’s functions have no limit on the number of times they can be employed. When button 1 is pressed, one end of the rod produces a small flame, equivalent to a candle. When button 2 is pressed, the rod unfolds into a two-person tent, complete with bedrolls and warm blankets. When button 3 is pressed, the rod becomes a one-handed hammer, suitable for pounding pitons into a wall. When button 4 is pressed, the rod becomes a sturdy iron spade. When button 5 is pressed, the rod becomes a wooden bucket able to hold 2 gallons of liquid. Once per day, it can be commanded to fill with fresh water. If the rod is seriously damaged or broken in any of its alternate forms (button 2, 3, 4, or 5), it reverts to its basic rod form and cannot be activated for 24 hours. Moderate conjuration; CL 9th; Craft Rod, minor creation; Price 375 gp; Weight 2 lb.
@ Slagger_the_Chuul Cool
Nah, Malagent. You take the damage from that trap, it's by the trap, not by the dart, usually. Traps at that level usually deal 20-30 dmg or more, which is DC 30-40 Will save, not 12. And yes, you very easily might fail one out of 6 DC 12 Will saves.

Of course, I'm more worried about the sniper hitting you from 300' away with a 12 pt arrow and forcing a 22 Will save or you butcher your friends. Which is exactly what should happen to anyone who knows about you. A simple Magic Missile spell will average a DC 27 save. Scorching Ray is unwinnable. You WILL lose those saves, and then go ape on the rest of the party. If you're an ubercharger build and then charge one of them, as you should, they are DEAD.

So, no, you don't need Frenzy unless you are fighting alone. just rage and be fine. Supreme Power Attack is all the love you really need from the class, and makes up for everything else.

==Aelryinth     
Fighter vs Warblade analysis http://community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/75882/19573526/Analyzing_the_Fighter_vs_The_Warblade The Lockdown F/20 iconic build http://community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/75882/19856162/A_little_Lock_build_for_you
Nah, Malagent. You take the damage from that trap, it's by the trap, not by the dart, usually. Traps at that level usually deal 20-30 dmg or more, which is DC 30-40 Will save, not 12. And yes, you very easily might fail one out of 6 DC 12 Will saves.

Of course, I'm more worried about the sniper hitting you from 300' away with a 12 pt arrow and forcing a 22 Will save or you butcher your friends. Which is exactly what should happen to anyone who knows about you. A simple Magic Missile spell will average a DC 27 save. Scorching Ray is unwinnable. You WILL lose those saves, and then go ape on the rest of the party. If you're an ubercharger build and then charge one of them, as you should, they are DEAD.

So, no, you don't need Frenzy unless you are fighting alone. just rage and be fine. Supreme Power Attack is all the love you really need from the class, and makes up for everything else.

==Aelryinth     



Seems like you have pretty bitter experience from FrBr eh? "Sniper from 300' away"? Boy, you watch too much Rambo Cool (just kiddin)

Anyway, I think you exaggerate a bit. Because if you want to go math and probability, then you have to calculate the probability of a trap or a sniper attack hitting the FrBr and not someone else. Honestly, I don't think anyone would like to go that far (I know I wouldn't).

So, in my opinion, being a FrBr it's a matter of flavour, with a bit of control. Without the Frenzy, you are nothing more than a specialized two-hander. Without the frenzy you are not deathless. Without the frenzy you don't get Greater Frenzy. All in all, either you are indeed a FrBr or you are just another barbarian.

Now, if you don't want to spend two feats to control the frenzy (although, I think the feats are useful anyway) it's a matter of choice. Go along with the tactic you propose. Just make sure there's always an uninhabited grove or warehouse or whatever nearby, lest you end up chopping the local grocer or woodcutterWink
Alternative Melee Class for D&D 3.5/Pathfinder.


Holy Rage of Tyr


Role: Holy Ragers are staunch melee combatants, called upon by their deity to act as a conduit of divine fury to mete out justice and vengeance to the enemies of their faith. Their paladin-like blessings grant them boons to resisting the corruption of evil, while at the same time their fierce berserker-like nature allows them to grow so passionate about their duty that they fly into a battle rage in order to bring to bear the full measure of righteous judgment upon their foes. While unable to wear heavy armor and usually shirking the encumbrance of a shield, they are solid fighters who’s devastating attacks make them the envy of many a great warrior.


Alignment: Any good. (A Holy Rager only cares about bringing their enemies to justice, to them, the ends tend to justify the means when it comes to breaking society’s laws, but one vow they make is not to take evil actions to achieve their goals.)


Hit Die: d10


Class Skills


The Holy Rage’s class skills are Acrobatics (Dex), Climb


(Str), Craft (Int), Intimidate (Cha), Perception (Wis), Sense Motive (Wis), Survival (Wis), and Swim (Str).


Skill Ranks per Level: 2 + Int modifier.


 


Class Features


All of the following are class features of the holy rager.


Weapon and Armor Proficiency: Holy ragers are proficient


with all simple and martial weapons, with light and medium armors, and no shields.


 


Divine Life Bond (Su): At 5th level, a holy rager forms an eternal bond with their deity’s favored weapon. The holy rager receives Weapon focus( ) of his deity’s favored weapon. This bond is similar to the normal Divine Bond (Sp) that paladins receive, except that with the deity’s favored weapon, the hit die category of the specific weapon (i.e. a longsword is 1d8) increases by 1 HD range every three levels after level 5. So a level 8 holy rager with a divine life bond with a longsword would deal 2d8 on damage rolls, and 3d8 at level 11 and so on and so forth.


 


Base


Attack                                                    Fort          Ref          Will


Level      Bonus                                     Save        Save        Save        Special


1st           +1                                           +2           +0           +1           Rage, aura of good, detect evil


2nd         +2                                           +3           +0           +1           Divine grace, lay on hands


3rd          +3                                           +3           +1           +2           Aura of courage, divine health


4th          +4                                           +4           +1           +2           Smite evil 1/day


5th          +5                                           +4           +1           +2           Divine life bond


6th          +6/+1                                     +5           +2           +3           Smite evil 2/day


7th          +7/+2                                     +5           +2           +3           Fast movement, damage reduction 1/—


8th          +8/+3                                     +6           +2           +3           Clear Mind, smite evil 3/day


9th          +9/+4                                     +6           +3           +4           Aura of resolve


10th        +10/+5                                   +7           +3           +4           Damage reduction 2/—, smite evil 4/day


11th        +11/+6/+1                            +7           +3           +4           Greater rage


12th        +12/+7/+2                            +8           +4           +5           Aura of justice


13th        +13/+8/+3                            +8           +4           +5           Damage reduction 3/—


14th        +14/+9/+4                            +9           +4           +5           Indomitable will, aura of faith


15th        +15/+10/+5                          +9           +5           +6           Smite evil 5/day


16th        +16/+11/+6/+1                    +10         +5           +6           Damage reduction 4/—


17th        +17/+12/+7/+2                    +10         +5           +7           Tireless rage


18th        +18/+13/+8/+3                    +11         +6           +7           Smite evil 6/day, aura of righteousness


19th        +19/+14/+9/+4                    +11         +6           +8           Damage reduction 5/—


20th        +20/+15/+10/+5                  +12         +6           +8           Mighty rage, Holy Champion

Alternative Melee Class for D&D 3.5/Pathfinder

i dont see any reason, that would matter in this discussion.

an additional possibilty would be the resolute class feature from CC for fighter 2. the lost feat could be replaced, by taking feat rogue 2 (UA) instead of fighter 3/4, as vertsukoto allready stated. so it would be a trade of 1 BAB, 1 FORT, 1 WILL and about 4 HP, against 1 feat, 12 skillpoints, UMD as classskill, evasion, 2 REF and a possibility to push your WILL quite hard